Casa Antigua and Ernest Hemingway

The outside of the Pelican Poop Shoppe, also known as Casa Antigua, was the very first place that Ernest Hemingway stayed when he initially came to Key West back in 1928.

If you are like most people, you know that Ernest Hemingway called Key West home for many years. But did you know what drew him to Key West in the first place?

Hemingway friend and fellow writer John dos Passos encouraged him to visit the island for its interesting people and great fishing. And that is just what Ernest and his second wife Pauline decided to do on their way back to the states after living abroad in Paris. The newlyweds arrived in Cuba via an ocean liner, and from there they headed to Key West. Here they were to pick up a Ford Roadster that Pauline’s Uncle Gus purchased for them as a wedding gift.  The plan was to drive the car back to the mainland after a brief stay. But divine providence turned what was supposed to be a quick visit to the island into a very, very extended stay.

Upon arriving at the Ford dealership on 314 Simonton Street, the Hemingway’s found the the delivery of the car had been delayed. The dealership insisted that they put Ernest and Pauline up at the Trev-Mor Hotel located above the showroom until the arrival of the vehicle, and the couple accepted the offer. It was two or three weeks before the car arrived, and during those weeks Ernest worked feverishly each morning completing what would be one of his most well known works, A Farewell to Arms.

Today, the building that was once a Ford dealership and showroom is now called Casa Antigua. It is a private residence upstairs. But downstairs houses the Pelican Poop Shoppe that sells trinkets to island visitors. And for a few dollars you can visit the gardens out back that Ernest supposedly roamed during his stay here. This building is number six on the Key West Historical Markers Tour.

To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West or any of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my  restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!


Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

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